Amarillo Day 4 - The Journey Home

April 20, 2008 at 10:48 AMJeremy
Well, Marci just called and she's through; I'm pretty sure we've got a new graduate nurse!!!!!

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Amarillo Day 3 - Palo Duro Canyon

April 20, 2008 at 9:48 AMJeremy

Marci left early in the morning to start her longest day at the hospital.  She had two patients and then got a chance to retry the skill that she'd missed the day before.  She was there until almost 4, but she nailed all three things (just 1 patient left).  She did well, but she was tired and hungry by the time she got out (she left before the hotel served breakfast and didn't have time to stop by the cafeteria for lunch, so a bagel and a granola bar was about all she got). 

Meanwhile, I enjoyed a full breakfast buffet and then headed out to Palo Duro Canyon. According to Wikipedia, it's second only to the Grand Canyon in the US in terms of... canyon-y-ness.

I drove down to the bottom, parked, and hit the Lighthouse Trail. Six miles roundtrip, but here's where I got to have lunch:

Here it is from a distance. I can't believe I covered that much ground (and a return trip).

It was all pretty even walking up until the very end, when the trail went sharply upward.

When I started up those steps, I immediately thought of my idiot friends and I running up Jacob's Ladder in Cameron Park. In fact, this path even seemed to take most of the same turns and uneven steps. I'd guesstimate it to be about 2 Jacob's Ladders (JL) high, but it was pretty easy considering I wasn't running up it.

I got up to the flat spot between the two spires and just enjoyed the nice cool breeze, and ate some crackers in the peace and quiet.  I can see why my friends Mark and Sean enjoy mountain climbing: there's a great feeling of accomplishment and a sense of peace and beauty looking at everything below.

Can't say there was a lot of pretty stuff to shoot. It's the desert so everything is just kinda dry, but I still got some shots of the local flora and fauna.

After Marci finished, we were both pretty hungry, neither of us having had a decent meal for lunch. To celebrate her almost-completion, we went to the Big Texan Steak Ranch. This is the home of the free 72oz steak (if you eat it within an hour). We didn't try for the free one (some guy from Connecticut was trying it, though--I hope for the sake of all Texans that he failed), but I can honestly say that I think what we ordered was the best steak I've ever had. Mmmm.

It was still early when we finished with dinner, but Marci was tired and I had heat exhaustion or something, so we pretty much napped in front of the TV until bedtime.

Amarillo Day 2 - Study, Study, Study!

April 20, 2008 at 9:42 AMJeremy
Friday came and went without much fanfare.  Marci stayed in the room and studied most of the day, and then spent the early evening up at the hospital.  I didn't write about it that day because Marci had goofed on one of her skills tests.  Basically, the test is 7 parts - 4 critical skills simulations (dressing a wound, doing something with an IV, stuff like that, performed on a dummy or fake) and 3 patient care scenarios (actually visiting with and taking care of 3 patients).  After the orientation on Friday they went and did the four critical skills simulations.  On one, Marci forgot a step until the very end, when she realized it was too late to back up.  But she didn't have time to worry about it because she had to start working on the care plan for her first patient as soon as she got back to the room.

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Amarillo Day 1 - The Unending Journey

April 17, 2008 at 11:00 PMJeremy

Well, we made it. It was some driving, driving, and more driving.  Such a thrill. We left at around 9 after a good IHOP breakfast and hit the road.

Look, trees!

More trees:

This wasn't a good sign:

And later:

We must've followed those guys for 45 minutes or so.

A wind farm.

A mesa.

Marci driving.

A pump jack.  Oh, that lovely west Texas smell.

Last time we followed two halves of a house.  This time it's two houses.  Joy.

This was a cute little rest stop that was about 90 miles south of Amarillo.  We'd been trying to stop every hour or so, so Marci could stretch (and find a bathroom).  When we got here, it was COLD!!!!  The wind was just killer.  This was nothing like what said yesterday that it would be.  I've considered writing a nasty email to The Weather Channel, but I already know what their response will be:

"We're weathermen.  What, do you expect us to be right?"

Fortunately, the rest stop had a display that we could walk around and look at.  It got us out of the cold, and was rather edu-taining.

We finally made it to Amarillo at around 6, checked into our room, and found a place to eat (a Red Robin less than a mile away -- mmm, gourmet burgers!).  We hit up Target to get Marci some snacks and she also found a cute swimsuit so we could visit the pool (indoor) when we got back.

I spent 30-45 minutes swimming laps while Marci floated around, and then I sat in the whirlpool for a few minutes (Marci just stuck her feet in since she's not supposed to be sit in a hot tub).  It was a good way to relax from the long drive.  Tomorrow we're not scheduled for anything until 4, so most of the day Marci will be studying and I'll be finding something to work on.  So exciting.

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